Russian Federation opens Confederations Cup with uninspiring win over New Zealand

New Zealand's players arrive at Pulkovo International Airport in Saint Petersburg in Russia on June 9 to take part in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup
Russian Federation opens Confederations Cup with uninspiring win over New Zealand

18 June, 2017

The match is going to be held in the Arena of Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg) from 18:00 local time (16:00 BST).

Security will be a concern over the two weeks in stadiums which have been dogged by construction delays and structural problems.

"Welcome to the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia", Infantino said.

Russia's underperforming national team can not escape the sense that they are letting a proud country down, as their preparations for the 2018 World Cup on home soil begin in earnest with Saturday's Confederations Cup opener against New Zealand in Saint Petersburg.

Russian Federation convincingly beat New Zealand 2-0 at the St Petersburg stadium in front of 50,251 people, including President Vladimir Putin and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who addressed the crowd before kickoff.

"Let us hope that the guys will try to perform well, like real fighters", Putin said.

"This is a challenging project, which includes transport, hotels and etc".

"If sanctions and education do not work then we have to take it further", said the Federation Internationale de Football Association official, who said it has prepared an anti-racism message from Diego Maradona to be revealed on Saturday.

"Nothing is going to change", Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio said Saturday, a day before Portugal's Confederations Cup debut against Mexico in Kazan. "Russian Federation is 100 per cent ready", Kolobkov said.

India and Pakistan join SCO
On Thursday, Nawaz Sharif met with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Pakistan has been an Observer with SCO since 2005 and applied for full membership of the organisation in 2010.

Very good Chile side are priced at 9/4 after claiming back to back Copa America trophies, while Mexico and hosts Russian Federation are both priced at 1/1.

He said Confederations Cup organisers had notified him that his fan-ID, needed to attend matches, had been cancelled in what appeared to be a further attempt to curb violence.

"It is the experience and knowledge that will be of enormous value for 2018".

The hosts now take on Portugal on Wednesday after Fernando Santos' men have played Mexico in their Group A opener.

Australia's group stage opponents - Germany, South American champions Chile and African Cup of Nations winners Cameroon - are intimidating opponents. In total, about 70 percent of the 700,000 tickets for the tournament have been sold, the Russian organizing committee's head, Alexei Sorokin, said this week.

Russia's fast start contrasted with New Zealand seeming unsettled early in a game that began after an unusual pre-match ceremony.

Russian authorities insist there is nearly no chance of a repeat as police have cracked down on suspected troublemakers with a barrage of searches, detentions and criminal probes.

Coach Joachim Loew has brought half a dozen newcomers into the team, resting several of his stalwarts including Manuel Neuer, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus and Mats Hummels among others to have them fit for next year's tournament.

Mexico has won five of its last six matches, with a 2-1 home loss to Croatia in a friendly in May.

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